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US Blu-ray and DVD Releases: Glass, The Kid Who Would Be King, Escape at Dannemora and more


Glass – While Split was pretty universally well-loved, Glass (which serves as a sequel to both Split and Unbreakable) was much more polarizing. Some people loved it and some people were very disappointed by it. And honestly, I can understand both positions. I can’t really say why I understand the people who were disappointed by it without giving away major spoilers, but I’ll say that I can see how the story might have gone in a direction people didn’t like. Personally, I loved the film. It fits right alongside both Split and Unbreakable and actually hearkens back to some major themes form Unbreakable. As with most Shyamalan films, however, don’t expect an all-out action spectacle. It’s a quiet film with a lot of talking punctuated by some pretty intense action scenes. But Shyamalan will never be an action filmmaker, so it’s good to know that ahead of time. Glass comes to home video on 4K Ultra HD as well as Blu-ray and DVD, and the film looks and sounds great in the premium format, but it’s also a rather muted film in terms of color palette and visuals, so you’re not getting as much of an upgrade as you would with, say, the latest Marvel film.

The Kid Who Would Be King – While Rebecca Ferguson and Patrick Stewart co-star in The Kid Who Would be King, the real stars are the kids who make up the main cast of this modern-day reimagining of the King Arthur legend. The film is a fun movie filled with action, humor, and special effects, and while at times it pushed the PG rating a bit (younger kids might find a few scenes a bit darker than what they’re used to) I enjoyed it overall. I think it might have done better at theaters in the summertime, but at least it will make for an entertaining home video watching experience.

Escape at Dannemora – Ben Stiller directs this eight-part miniseries from Showtime that focuses on a prison break in upstate New York that made national headlines three or four years ago. The series stars Patricia Arquette, Benicio del Toro, Paul Dano, and a host of familiar character actors in smaller roles (such as Bonnie Hunt and David Morse.) The movie jumps back and forth between two time periods: the build-up to the escape, and the time after the escape when officials are trying to piece together what happened. It’s solidly entertaining, although I think it could have easily been a two-hour movie. It’s also extremely dour; there’s not a lot of humor to be found in the bleak landscape of Dannemora. Still, worth a watch for sure.

Also Available This Week on Home Video:

  • Superstition & The Manitou – Shout Factory’s always-excellent Scream Factory imprint brings us two cult classic horror films, both making their Blu-ray debut. First up we have The Manitou, which stars none other than Tony Curtis. Obviously, a horror film is an anomaly for Curtis, and this was later in his career. This tale of a Native American demon possessing a woman is pretty typical ‘70s horror fare, although I cannot help but wonder if there’s some influence from The Exorcist in there. Superstition, meanwhile, comes from 1985, and is much more ‘80s-ish in nature, dealing with witches and demons and generally having a high cheer factor. There aren’t really any known stars in the film, and for my money The Manitou is the better of the two.
  • Steven Universe: The Complete Second Season – I’ll be the first to admit that I just don’t get most of what Cartoon Network does these days. Maybe I’m old, maybe I’m out of touch, but you can name just about anything that’s been popular on Cartoon Network in the past decade and I’m generally not a fan. Steven Universe is, sadly, no exception to that. It’s not a bad show per se, I just don’t get what people are all excited about. This newest release collects all of Season Two, giving you four hours of episodes on two discs. It also comes packaged with a giant keychain, which is a nice bonus if you’re a fan. If you like magical gem creatures and weird anime-influenced characters, then this is the show for you. If you’re already a fan, this release is the perfect way to continue your collection.
  • Lifechanger – This interesting indie horror film was written, directed, and produced by Justin McConnell, a largely unknown talent who bears watching. The film follows a shapeshifter who can only survive by fully taking on another person’s life (while ultimately causing their untimely death), but who sets out for a sort of last hurrah involving a romance (again, of sorts.) It’s not your typical horror film (and indeed, some might argue that it’s not even a horror film, more of a psychological thriller), but for a low-budget indie, it does a lot right. The performances are solid, the story is interesting, and the film is short enough not to lose the audience with unnecessary scenes. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s an intriguing and engaging film.
  • Master Of Dark Shadows – This fantastic documentary tells the story of Dan Curtis and Dark Shadows, the show he created that went on to become such a cult classic that even now, some 50-plus years later, everyone still knows the show quite well. What makes the documentary stand out is just the wealth of talent that’s featured in it. Not only do you get virtually the entire cast of the original Dark Shadows TV show, but you also get luminaries such as Alan Ball (creator of the True Blood TV show), Whoopi Goldberg, Herman Wouk (author of The Winds of War), and more. Plus, it’s all narrated by Ian McShane, which feels perfect. Add to that the fact that the film is just under 90 minutes long, and you don’t have time for it to wear out its welcome. A must have for Dark Shadows fans.
  • The Dick Cavett Show: Inside the Minds of… Vol. 3The Dick Cavett Show has been released on DVD in dribs and drabs over the last decade or so, which is understandable because I think it’s hard to properly package and release talk shows from the past. I mean, I don’t know that there would be a ton of buyers for complete season sets of talk shows that are decades and decades old. This latest release cherry picks some of the most interesting guests and give us four notable African-American comedians. Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, and Dick Gregory. It’s a treasure trove of amazing guests!
  • Wild Kratts: The Briny Blue Sea – As far as kids shows go, The Wild Kratts is one of the better ones. It manages to combine animals and superhero-style adventures into one fun animated series that is both entertaining and educational. The show focuses on the Brothers Kratt, animal experts and adventurers, who use creature power suits to take on the traits of various animals and interact with them in their habitats. The show mixes in humor, action, and cool suit designs, plus it has a good supporting cast of characters that kids will like. This time around, we see the Brothers and their crew head underwater for some aquatic marine life encounters. I wish they’d give you more than just two episodes per disc, but they’re pretty cheap, so it’s still a good buy if your kids are into this show.
  • Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Malibu Express, Ivana Trump’s For Love Alone, 4-in-1 Apocalypse – Mill Creek continues their deep dive into budget cult classic releases with a fresh slate of cheesetastic goodness this week. First up, we have the Blu-ray debuts of Hard Ticket to Hawaii and Malibu Express, two flicks from cult favorite director Andy Sidaris. Both are so-bad-they’re-good cult c classics filled with cheap action, cheap women, and cheap… well, everything. But they’re also both an inordinate amount of fun, and having them on Blu-ray is a nice bonus. Next up is Ivana Trump’s For Love Alone, which was directed by acclaimed auteur Michael Lindsey-Hogg. This TV-movie stars Stephen Collins and is based on Ivana Trump’s novel, which is an incredibly thinly veiled fictionalization of her time as Donald Trump’s wife. While it’s melodramatic, there’s no denying that it’s also pretty fascinating, especially knowing what we know now. Finally, we have 4-in-1 Apocalypse, a budget movie collection that includes the following four films: Arachnoquake, which sees Tracey Gold and Edward Furlong fighting giant spiders released by an earthquake; Ghostquake, which features Charisma Carpenter and Danny Trejo, but this time it’s ghosts that have been released by an earthquake; Miami Magma, which sees Brad Dourif and Rachel Hunter and illegal drilling into a volcano causing Miami to catch on fire (yes, all of Miami); and Weather Wars, which stars Jason London and Stacy Keach and which gives us a madman setting various weather disasters loose on the US. Now, we all know what to expect with movies like these, but honestly, I love them. Yes, they’re low-budget and goofy and cheesy, but I always love disaster and creature flicks, and getting four of them in one spot for under ten bucks is too good of a deal to pass up.

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